Here’s the good news: yes!
Long-term distance relationships are true tests of love, commitment and determination. And it doesn’t matter the type of relationship, either. Family, friends, significant others; all of them require the same things. Here’s what I’ve learned about long distance relationships, from real experience:
You both have to be on board. It takes a lot of effort to keep a connection strong from far away. You both have to be in it 100%, there’s no faking it, or going in half way. You have to plan skype calls, go out of your way to send texts or emails, and try extra hard to be a part of their life. Communication is crucial. It sounds easy, but remembering to text someone that you don’t see everyday is harder than one might think.
Put in extra effort to be involved in their life. Think about your friendships now… some of them might exist only because of their proximity to you. It’s easy to be friends – or at least friendly – with people that are naturally a part of your daily life. But it’s much harder to include someone in your life and be a part of theirs when you don’t get to physically be with them.
The drift is natural. This is the scary part, but it’s realistic. Distance can be hard on a relationship, and feeling a growing gap between you, despite the effort and communication, is inevitable. This gap may not ruin your relationship… it just makes it feel different. The trick is to learn to except that things are different. Don’t try and pretend that things are like they used to be. But, the new kind of relationship that grows from being long-distance isn’t necessarily a bad one. It’s just new.
Side note: I’ve had long-distance relationships that have fallen out of touch, and ones that have fallen into a new realm of connection. But, here’s my favorite success story: I have had a friend for the past eleven years, of which six of those years have been a long distance friendship. Learning to adapt our relationship to a long-distance setting was rocky at times; there’s only so much you can say over email. But, our friendship is wonderful. I wouldn’t change it for the world. We both say often that because of our long-distance friendship, we feel that our relationship can withstand just about anything.